Wednesday, July 18, 2012


WONDER WOMAN ARCHIVES VOL. 5 (DC, 2007; Hardcover)

Collects Wonder Woman Nos. 10-12 and selections from Sensation Comics Nos. 33-40 (cover dates September, 1944- Spring, 1945)

Writers: William Moulton Marston and Joye Murchison (WW 12 only)

Artist: Harry G. Peter

I began my Wonder Woman marathon around the New Year, and have been savoring these Archives. Marston's writing is superb as usual. His health was failing, and he brought in an assistant, Joye Murchison to write a script he obviously had already plotted. Harry G. Peter's artwork is a delight to the eyes, with his Gilded Age influences making this title look like nothing else on the stands at the time. The quality of both the writing and the artwork has been remarkably consistent thus far, and remarkably high.

The S & M, bondage, dominance and submission overtones are as rampant as ever, and make me chuckle. The fact that this was scooped by children as well as adults is comical. The adults undoubtedly got into the kinkier aspects of it, while little girls found a strong female role model that they could aspire to be. To put this in historical perspective, these issues were published during World War II, and Rosie the Riveter was fresh on people's minds. The woman's suffragette movement was only 20 or so years old, so a rise in feminism was beginning to take hold. 

Wonder Woman's trip to Venus provided some of the more outlandish, surrealistic imagery in this book. H.G. Peter really shined here, as he could draw very lovely ladies. While these stories can be somewhat formulaic and repetitive, when taken in smaller “doses”, these are remarkable reads. I have already begun reading Volume 6, and if I savor it long enough, it should hold me over until Volume 7 is released in October of this year. 

The OCD zone- The linework and color restoration are much improved over Volume 5, with the integrity of the artwork better preserved. Volume 5 had much of the linework washed out by shoddy computer recoloring, rather than doing it by “hand” on computer, which was likely the case here.

The paper is a dull matte finish coated stock, and is absolutely wonderful. This has sewn binding and lays pretty flat overall. DC Archives are great.

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